Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that David Raya was signed because he has ‘better qualities’ for his style of play.
The Spain international has joined the Gunners on a season-long loan from Brentford, with an option to make the move permanent included in the deal.
Arsenal already boast a quality goalkeeper in Aaron Ramsdale, and many are wondering why they needed to sign Raya.
Arteta insists quality squad depth is necessary in the position in case the England international gets injured.
“[He has] better qualities for our game model, very simple,” the Spaniard said during the press conference ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace on Monday.
“We want two players per position. You saw what happened to Jurrien [Timber], it can happen to our goalkeeper, it happened to [Thibaut] Courtois – you have to be prepared.
“If Aaron were to sustain a cruciate what would you say? We have to be proactive, now we have two excellent goalkeepers that fit into our model, so I am very happy with that.”
While Ramsdale is also comfortable with playing out from the back, Raya is better on the ball thanks to his futsal background.
He has earned praise from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his ability on the ball, with the German claiming that he can play as a number 10 due to being capable of finding players further up the pitch with his passes.
It is something Ramsdale has struggled with, with Arteta visibly frustrated during some of their games on the pre-season tour of the United States as the Englishman sliced the ball out of play whenever he attempted to play long to his right.
The Arsenal boss wants his team to be able to catch opponents unaware with long passes from the back, and Raya is perfect for the job.
Ramsdale was also responsible for two errors leading to goals last term, and he was at fault for the first goal when the Gunners suffered a 2-0 loss to Manchester United in New Jersey during their tour when Bruno Fernandes’ shot went through him.
The Arsenal star needs someone to keep him on his toes, and while Matt Turner could not do that, Raya has been brought in for that very purpose.